In the first part of the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, you’ll get the Overhand Shuffle. It’ll be your first foundational technique, and there will be three full tricks, coupled with three flourishy revelations of a selected card.

1.1 The Overhand Shuffle

Royal Road to Card Magic Chapter 1 teaches this well enough. The advice is fairly standard. You’ll learn how to control a card, maintain a bank of cards, bring cards to the top or bottom, and even maintain the entire order of the deck. Study everything here up to and including the overhand false shuffle routine, and practice that until you have it cold.

1.2 “A Pocket Discovery”

Personally I feel that in chapter 1 of Royal Road, this is the best of the tricks that rely solely on the overhand shuffle.

1.3 “Further Than That”

You’ll need to get your hands on Jinx #134 on askalexander.org. This is a well-regarded trick that a lot of magicians have worked on over the years.

1.4 “Think Stop”

One of the things that Royal Road gets wrong from time-to-time is the order with which the material gets taught. This is from Chapter 18, but it’s accessible to anybody who’s mastered the techniques in Chapter 1. This is a riff on Al Koran’s “The Lazy Magician’s Card Trick”, and honestly I like Koran’s presentation more than this one. You should be able to find that presentation on Youtube, and the method is basically the same as what’s taught here.

1.5 “A New Top Card Production”

This is in More Card Manipulations No. 2 (Hugard and Braue). You can get to that on lybrary.com through TLPP. You’ll need to register if you haven’t yet.

1.6 “A Rising Card Comedy”

This is in Card Manipulations No. 3 (Hugard). Also available on lybrary.com through TLPP.

1.7 “Pinkie Does It”

This is in Royal Road, Chapter 1. This one has kind of been overtaught, and the angles aren’t as good as the previous two. Still, it’s worth at least knowing it.

1.8 A Divided Deck Shuffle

This is taught in a few places in the literature, but you can learn it from The Jinx, Winter Extra 1937/38 (askalexader.org). There’s no trick taught with this, but it’s a useful technique to know about. Have a card selected from one half, returned to the other, do this shuffle, and you can locate their card easily. The obvious divided deck would be blacks and reds, but you can’t display that. However, if you were to stack the deck with Odd Blacks Even Reds in one half, and Even Blacks Odd Reds in the other, and you’ve got something that you can potentially display face-up. Even better would be Odd Majors (Spades and Hearts) Even Minors (Clubs and Hearts) in one half, and the inverse in the other.

Conclusion

Now, you could study some of the other tricks in the first chapter of Royal Road, but I feel like you’d be unnecessarily delaying your progress. Or, arguably worse, hindering it, because there are some choices in this chapter that aren’t really all that great.

That said, one thing to keep in mind is that the techniques taught here are important because they’re also used in concert with other tricks you’ll learn later. So, even if you agree that the tricks aren’t all that hot, you don’t want to skimp on the core techniques covered in 1.1 above, because they’re vital.

JACK #2 coming next week!